A Vancouver police officer has tested positive for COVID-19
VANCOUVER -- A member of the Vancouver Police Department tested positive for COVID-19, the department's media relations officer told CTV News Vancouver.
"That member is doing well and recovering at home and is receiving ongoing support from the department," Const. Tania Visintin said in an email Tuesday.
"Members who were in close contact with this member are currently self-isolating at home as a precaution."
The officer has not been publicly identified, nor have police provided a rank or further details on where the patient worked.
The update comes less than a week after similar news was announced by the RCMP. Six of its employees have caught the novel coronavirus so far, including at least one in British Columbia.
And earlier this month, it was announced that seven firefighters in the Township of Langley were in self-isolation following exposure to a confirmed patient in that area.
Last week, CTV News looked into the precautions some local first responders are taking to protect themselves as much as possible.
Surrey's fire chief said any firefighters in his department are donning extra personal protective gear when responding to medical calls where there are health concerns.
That equipment includes masks, clear plastic face shields, disposable gowns and double gloves.
In New Westminster, police said officers also have protective gear they use, as well as cleaning supplies in their cruisers when they're on patrol.
Sgt. Jeff Scott asked anyone requesting police report whether they have symptoms of COVID-19 if possible, so officers can be prepared when they arrive.
RCMP media relations officers in two local communities said they were asking questions over the phone when calls come in, and minimizing personal contact with the public when possible.
In Vancouver, Fire Chief Darrell Reid said his department is looking at ways to "triage ourselves to maximize our ability to stay resilient for a long term."
And Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said retired first responders are being called in when needed, though it's up to local emergency units to make their own adjustments.